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Bruce Nauman's sound piece returns to Tate Modern's Turbine Hall

Veteran conceptual artist will also be subject of Artist Rooms show in Tate’s Switch House extension

by Gareth Harris, Helen Stoilas  |  11 April 2017
Bruce Nauman's sound piece returns to Tate Modern's Turbine Hall
Bruce Nauman (Photo: Sidney Felsen 2007)
The US artist Bruce Nauman’s sound installation Raw Materials gets a second outing at Tate Modern in London next month, 13 years after it was first aired in the Turbine Hall. The work, comprising 22 fragments of speech recorded over 40 years and transmitted from 22 speakers, was commissioned for the Turbine Hall’s Unilever Series in 2004. 

According to a press statement, visitors are “encouraged to listen rather than look, as a discord of voices relay incessant thoughts, exclamatory commands and rhythmic chants”. The work, which is in the Tate collection, will fill the space for four months (15 May-20 August).

Bruce Nauman's VIOLINS VIOLENCE SILENCE (1981-2) (Artist Rooms, Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. Lent by Anthony d’Offay 2010<br />
© ARS, NY and DACS, London 2017)
Bruce Nauman's VIOLINS VIOLENCE SILENCE (1981-2) (Artist Rooms, Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. Lent by Anthony d’Offay 2010
© ARS, NY and DACS, London 2017)
The 75-year-old Nauman is also the subject of the next Artist Rooms series of shows, to be held in Tate Modern’s Switch House extension (24 July-July 2018). Displays in the dedicated space are drawn from the blue-chip Modern and contemporary art collection amassed by the retired art dealer Anthony d’Offay. The Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland jointly acquired the Artist Rooms collection in 2008 for the much reduced price of £26.5m (it was valued at £125m). The inaugural display was devoted to Louise Bourgeois, the Franco-American sculptor who died in 2010.

The Artist Rooms Nauman show will include the neon sculptures VIOLINS VIOLENCE SILENCE (1981-2) and La Brea/Art Tips/Rat Spit/Tar Pits (1972). The videos Raw Material with Continuous Shift-MMMM (1991) and Raw Material Washing Hands (1996) will also go on show alongside the vast sculptural installation Enforced Perspective: Allegory and Symbolism (1975).

The Nauman exhibition tally at Tate does not stop there. Last year, we reported that Nauman will add a major retrospective at Tate Modern to his packed schedule of exhibitions. The Tate survey due to take place in 2020, which has not yet been formally announced, will follow a separate retrospective co-organised by the Schaulager in Basel and New York's Museum of Modern Art, which is due to open in Switzerland in 2018 before travelling to the US. 

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